SAMARKAND, 15 September (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko had a bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Samarkand where the Belarusian head of state will participate in a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BelTA has learned.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif greeted the Belarusian leader by saying: “Mister President, it is a great honor and a pleasure to meet with you. We've brought you the best wishes from the people of Pakistan. Both our delegation and our government know you've been a friend of our country for a long time.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko said in response: “Mister Prime Minister, I am pleased to hear you say we are good friends of Pakistan. It is truly so. Moreover, whatever relations you may have with your blood brother [Nawaz Sharif, who has been Pakistan's prime minister many times], you have to know that he is my good friend. As I was meeting with previous leaders of Pakistan, I always inquired about his health, about where he was regardless of their convictions and relations with Nawaz. And you know they always told me sincerely about your brother. It was him who had mentioned you for the first time to me. This is why I could not but congratulate you. We rooted for you, for your becoming the prime minister. Because too much has already been accomplished in Belarus-Pakistan relations under Nawaz Sharif.”
The prime minister thanked the president for an invitation to visit Belarus. “I am truly glad you've invited me. Let me use the opportunity to invite you to visit Pakistan as soon as possible,” he said.
Shehbaz Sharif also stated full support for Belarus' intention to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a full member. “We fully endorse Belarus' accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. We will provide full support. It is truly a big event. You can count on us,” the prime minister said.
Belarus-Pakistan legal base is well-developed. Over 80 documents have been signed. All Belarusian regions have established partnership relations with provinces of Pakistan. Institutional mechanisms for bilateral interaction have been created such as commissions, focused working groups, and a business council.
Pakistan buys Belarusian sophisticated technical products, chemical products, and food with a high added value: tractors, trucks, parts and accessories for them, tires, chemical fibers, baby food, medications as well as cellulose, potash fertilizers, defense and security products. The main imports include citrus fruits, rice, leather products, light industry products (cotton-added fabrics, knitted fabrics, textiles, bed and table linen), medical devices and sport equipment.